Although it may be hard to imagine while humidity levels are still high, crackling leaves and plummeting temperatures are just around the corner. Think back to years past: have you had problems keeping your house comfortable as the mercury drops? Have you ever felt like you’re spending more energy on trying to save energy than you do on enjoying the vibrant autumn leaves or the onset of football season? If any of this sounds like you, then it’s time for a fall maintenance check-in on how to keep your home from losing heat.
STEP 1: CAULK.
Your home may be your castle, but it’s probably not a fortress. All sorts of external cracks and crannies conspire in the fall to let warm air out and cold air in. The solution to almost all of them? Caulk.
Caulk is a waterproof filler used between two adjoining materials to seal them together. It’s both powerful and cost-effective. There are various kinds of caulk, but you’ll probably want 100% silicone; it’s permanently waterproof, it’s flexible, and it doesn’t shrink or crack. On your next free Saturday, head to the hardware store, grab some caulk (and a caulk gun — trust us on this), and get to work.
Where should you caulk? Basically, wherever you can see sunlight or feel an air draft with your bare hand. Caulk between masonry and siding, at the ingress of pipes or wires to the house, and around window and door frames. (While you’re at it, you might even get around to that tub-sealing project on your honey-do list!)
One more benefit to caulking external cracks in your home: it will prevent further cracking. In the fall and winter, water can get into small spaces and freeze there, creating more damage. So caulk is a solution to both your current and your future weatherproofing problems.
STEP 2: WEATHER STRIP.
The number one cause of energy loss in a home is cracks around the doors and windows. You can solve this problem by weatherstripping.
There are many different kinds of weatherstripping, and your choice will depend on the crevice you’re trying to close. If you can see daylight under your front door, install a door sweep; if the door jambs just aren’t flush, try felt. Secure window sashes with foam tape. Be watchful as the weather cools, and weatherstrip any point of entry at which you feel a draft.
STEP 3: SWITCH YOUR CEILING FANS.
Believe it or not, this simple fix can save you money. Change the direction of your ceiling fans to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air. You’ll feel a little more cozy, which will keep you away from that thermostat.Maintaining one (preferably low) temperature setting all season long will prevent unnecessary overuse of your system — and overbilling of your bank account.
STEP 4: CLEAN YOUR HVAC SYSTEM.
This home maintenance staple is important all year long, but many people don’t get to it until they make their seasonal sweep. If you have forced-air heat, then you rely on your HVAC system to keep your home toasty. A dirty system will have to work harder, reducing energy efficiency.
So if you haven’t taken the time to get into your HVAC system recently and give it a good once-over, make it a priority this fall. You can clean the entire system, not just its machinery; start by changing your air filters and inspecting your ducts for blockages. Then you can move on to checking other system component parts, like heat exchangersor heat pump coils.
Not sure how to do it on your own? Then schedule a maintenance service with Newcomb and Company. It’s an inexpensive way to save yourself a bundle in the long run. Newcomb and Company has been the Triangle’s most trusted provider of home heating services since 1954. When the State Fair rolls around and the Friday night football lights come on, make scheduling your service with us another fall staple!